Well-educated people on my Facebook feed, many of whom attended elite institutions of education with me, are advocating socialism. More specifically, they are suggesting that private businesses should make hiring and compensation decisions based on some generally agreed notion of the common good.
I can understand when young adults in their twenties with no memory of the Soviet Union feel this way. But for people my age to not accept as bedrock that this method of economic organization has been thoroughly tested and completely discredited boggles my mind. And yet this is the direction in which we seem to be careening.
Faced with the evidence that pending tax policies and the consequences of the Affordable Care Act are causing businesses to contract, they are outraged. If companies have access to cash, they should use it to pay workers and any negative response to these policies represents political advocacy and unwarranted hysteria. Concerned citizens should abandon larger enterprises and shop locally (incidentally, from merchants whose size relieves them from the burdens of Obamacare).
I can't help but wonder if this is how people felt as Roosevelt's New Deal was unfolding. And I begin to even grant some credence to the notion that were it not for the New Deal, we well might have faced true, unadulterated socialism in this country.
Too extreme? Perhaps. And yet, it stuns me to even be having these debates with supposedly well-educated adults.